Psychology alum discusses the developmental growth of students
Lauren Berry Maloney ’14
Director of alumni engagement, Episcopal Academy (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Lauren Berry Maloney ’14 is The Episcopal Academy’s director of alumni engagement and has worked in its Advancement Office since 2015. She’s an alumna of Episcopal and key connector in the school community. Since taking on this role in 2018, she has increased the number of EA alumni events by 60%, including the following new events and groups: two Women of EA programs, an Alumni of Color luncheon, the Episcopal Academy Lawyer’s Network, and three regional Head Leadership Councils. Malone also is a water polo coach and club adviser for EA students.
Some students may not realize that a psychology background is a great precursor to a career in higher education. What was it about majoring in psych that prepared you for your career?
The courses I took in psychology prepared me to work with people from different backgrounds and at different points in their lives. In my role now, I work with alumni from the Class of 1936 to our current high school seniors (Class of 2021). My background in psychology allows me to understand what programs and communications might be more successful in keeping them engaged with the school based on where they are in their lives.
How and when did you discover that you have a passion for working with college-age students?
My passion for working in education and with students began at Lafayette. I was an orientation leader (OL) for three years, and through that experience and the planning process leading up to each August, I saw the impact of these programs to help students adjust to college life and connect with life at Lafayette. (I also met my now husband when we were OLs together!). Being an OL, and also the Connected Communities Program Fellow 2014-2015, solidified my desire to work with students and support them. Working in these roles taught me how to be intentional and thoughtful about the goals we set and how we accomplish them. My work today is different from working with college students, but I use these principles to develop engaging alumni programs and in my work with high school students. Again, I draw from my psychology background, and specifically in the life span development courses, to know where high school- and middle school-age students are in their developmental growth and what they need.
You recently came back as a (virtual) guest speaker for Prof. Lauren Myers’ course during the fall semester. What did you personally take away from that experience?
I am a firm believer in the power of networking. I have personally benefited from hearing the steps alumni have taken after graduation and how they ended up in their careers. I also owe so much of my success to my Lafayette mentors like Pam Brewer, Paul McLoughlin, Jim Dailey, and all of my psychology professors. If anything, they assured me that Lafayette has prepared you well for any career you want to have, and your hard work and connections will help you get there. I was eager to pay that forward to today’s students in Lauren Myers’ class. I enjoyed hearing their questions about life after Lafayette and after the developmental stage of emerging adulthood. I also told them that I hope they connect with me on LinkedIn, and if they want to have a conversation about my career, I will always make myself available.
What advice would you offer to current psychology students about how they can apply what they are currently learning to their future careers?
Keep an open mind! You have the skills you need—writing, researching, socio-emotional—to succeed in any career. Find what you enjoy about psychology as a field, and then find a career that matches that. For me, I thought I wanted to pursue a career in clinical psychology, but after an internship in a clinical setting, I realized it was not for me. I panicked (senior year is stressful!) until my mentors helped me understand how I could turn my passions at Lafayette as a community connector and student leader into a career in education.